between the monarchy and Scotland, an ancient and troubled relationship

The United Kingdom’s King Charles III, in discussing the passing of his Scottish titles to his son William during his first speech as monarch, highlighted how “they count for him”. Not surprising, when you know how old, personal and sometimes tumultuous the British royal family’s relationship with Scotland is.

Balmoral Castle, where Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday, September 8, is a symbolic sign of this relationship. The monarch has been going there every year in August and September for decades. He also spent most of his childhood there.

Recently, the Queen visited the country for her Silver, Gold and Diamond Jubilees. He also moved during the Lockerbie attack, which killed 270 people in 1988, or the Dunblane massacre, which claimed the lives of 16 children and their teacher.

Charles III, protector of the castles of Scotland

The queen even posed at Balmoral, in an epic game, dressed as a sovereign in an array of thorns, the national flower. “Scotland has a very special role in our lives and in my family’s,” he said in 2012.

His son Charles III, now on the throne, studied at Gordonstoun. A prestigious institution that he qualified “absolute hell” and on “Colditz in kilts”, in reference to a German castle that became a prison camp for the Nazi regime. This did not prevent the new king from being close to the country and its heritage. In 2007, he contributed to the purchase of over 50 million euros of Dumfries House, an 18th century castle.e century, to preserve it and open it to visitors.

Elizabeth II or Elizabeth I?

The coronation of Elizabeth II however caused an obstacle, Scotland has never known a Queen Elizabeth, unlike England. Logically, the new monarch should have been called Elizabeth II of England and Elizabeth Id from Scotland. To avoid this duplication, the first name was finally chosen, despite the discontent of some Scots.

The relationship between the monarchy and the land of thorns, however, predates Elizabeth II. Her parents confirmed this: the late queen counted her ancestors as King Robert I of Scotland, who reigned in Scotland from 1306 to 1329. The two crowns were united in 1603, when James VI Stuart , King of Scotland, became King of England and Ireland after the death of his cousin Elizabeth I, who died childless. The new monarch created the current flag of the United Kingdom, the Union Jack, in 1606. However, the state remained independent until the Act of Union of 1707, which established Great Britain.

Stone of fate, obstacle

Before this unification, wars between the two countries were common. In 1296, an English victory led to the capture of the “Stone of Destiny”, which was used in Scottish coronations. The outrage remained, until students took it from Westminster Abbey in 1950 to display it in Scotland.

They placed it on the altar of Arbroath Abbey, where Scottish independence was proclaimed in 1320. About fifty nobles declared it. it is indeed not for glory, nor for wealth, nor for honor that we fight, but for liberty; for him alone, that no honest man is left but life itself.. Returned to London, the Stone was eventually returned to Scotland in 1996. However, it is expected to return to Westminster for further coronations.

This is not the first time the monarchy has taken care of its image to appeal to the Scots. In 1822, King George IV wore the kilt in Edinburgh. According to timeit “communication operation” no other purpose than “ensure support for the crown” in the country. Despite all these efforts, the monarchy was less popular in Scotland than elsewhere. According to a poll conducted in June 2022, only 45% of Scots want it to continue in the near future.

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